Dinosaur Jr.: Beyond


From the SST looking cover to the first fuzzed bass and ripping guitar lines in the opener “Almost Ready,” it seems like 1988 all over again.  Unlike other recent reunion acts putting out new material (*Cough*Stooges*Cough*) Dinosaur Jr. peels back the fabric of space on their new disk beyond proving that they still have an artistic voice which needs to be heard.  The original trio ended their highly influential incarnation with the release of Bug, and this re-convergence 19 years later bristles with creative energy.  J Mascis continues providing melodic/freak-out guitar lines, tearing ass on the 6 _ minute “Pick Me Up”; a ringing siren wah-wah enters, pre-stop-start-breakdown before a monstrous feedback climax.  Mascis’ guitar is everywhere piercing various body parts with precise needles of solo perfection after numbing with distortion, leaving him as the most criminally-underrated guitarist in rock and roll. 

Jr. is now a Sr. and the most noticeable difference comes in the lyrics, odd visual poems are replaced with adult worries, questions and exclamations, nowhere more evident then on Lou Barlow’s “Back to Your Heart” and the closer “What If I Knew”.  Growing up can also tire you out and beyond drags a bit with “I Got Lost” and an almost Dr. Feelgood-y “It’s Me”, but these breathers are expected and do nothing to diminish the simply astounding highlights such as “This Is All I Came To Do” the jangle-twang of “We’re Not Alone” and one of  the best rock songs of ’07 so far: “Been There All The Time”, which showcases these Dinosaurs at the top of the food chain and beyond.     

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